tv The Ed Show MSNBC November 27, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
the first one. get this filibuster thing done and get it back to what it was back in the 1930s, when we could all root for jimmy stewart and hope he could be that corrupt political machine we all love to hate in that greatest of all political movies. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed shultz starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york. president obama is set to launch an offensive to save 9 8% of americans from a republican tax increase. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> e we should not hold the middle class hostage wild we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. we should at least do what we agree on and that's to keep middle class taxes from going up. >> preserving tax cuts for the middle class. tonight chris van hollen and jan
schakowsky and the latest on the fiscal cliff. the meet iing with the president looks good for progressives. we'll get the scoop from james hoffa. plus breaking news. republicans running the benghazi witch hunt remain disturbed and troubles. >> i'm more disturbed and significantly troubled. >> i'm more troubled. >> joan walsh on today's big meeting with susan rice. and yesterday ricks rolled fox news. >> i think that the emphasis on benghazi has been extremely political because fox was operating as a wing of the republican party. >> today fox news strikes back. good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. the white house is keeping republicans in a box. president obama is hitting the road to push the extension of tax cuts for income, for folks under $250,000 a year. the president will kick off his tour in southeastern pennsylvania on friday.
today he met with small business owners at the white house and tomorrow he plans to meet with a group of middle-class families. republicans will be countering with their own events. house majority whip is holding a meeting with small business owners next week. the small business owners in the meeting with the president today were on top of the game, top of the issues understood the solution to the deficit plan. >> what grows jobs in america are consumers spending money. and the average person needs that $2,000 in his pocket to drive the economy. saying that tax breaks for the rich drive consumers lower down to spend is like saying you could start your car by pouring gasoline on the hood. there's no proof, there's no factual data to support it. it's completely a sham to say that. >> and he's a business owner. we need more members of congress
to sound like that. if the president is trying to achieve solidarity on raising the top tax rate, these are the voices that can come through for them with that message in a big way. an owner of an automobile supply company says she supports the plan even if it means her own personal rates will go up. . >> i would have higher tax rates, but r more important and more crucial, the middle class would be spending about $3,000 more. >> harry reid kept the focus on the president's winning campaign message of letting the tax cuts expire on incomes over $250,000 a year. >> the people who have done so well during this difficult time with the economy, the richest of the rich are going to have to pay a little more to solve the financial problems we have this this country. >> this is what the campaign has been all about. congressional democrats are making sure the message is simple, consistent, to the point
and easy to consume. recent comments from david plouffe as well as lawmakers left the president's strategy open to interpretation. progressives were concerned the social safety net programs were on the chopping block, but today democrats were unified in their approach. they are all on the same page. the president was reluctant to agree to a deal cutting medicare and medicaid benefits. president obama is seeking $1.6 trillion in additional revenue over ten years and $340 billion in health care savings. the time says the deal would not affect benefits. that's the keyword, benefits. the president and some democrats in the congress are willing to squeeze savings from medicare by trimming payments to drug companies, hospitals and other health care providers. they are ruling out structural changes that would increase costs for a typical beneficiary.
this is what it's all about. the money. who is going to get it? senator dick durbin. a little more specific today. he said progressives, that would be you and me, should be willing to talk about ways to ensure the long-term viability of medicare and medicaid but those conversations should not be part of a plan to avert the fiscal cliff. democrats are prepared to discuss reforms to medicare and medicaid, but not right now. fox news tried to get budget committee chair member congressman chris van hollen to agree to the changes. van hollen stood firm. >> if you prolong the program, people are living longer, isn't that age outvoted? >> there are a lot better ways to have doing it? >> you're not willing to change the age? >> no. because there are much better ways of dealing with medicare
costs. >> it's just so heart warming that somebody on fox news thinks i'm going to live a little longer. social security is off the table. white house press secretary jay ke kearney kiss missed any changes saying it's not, it is not the driver of the deficit. this is a step in the right direction for more than 55 million americans who have earned social security benefits today and every working american who will receive social security benefits in the future. republicans know they are pretty much boxed in on this. especially with the public. house speaker john boehner is running out of options. he told president obama over the holidays he could hold the december ceiling hostage in order to get a deal the republicans like. boehner said to the president "there's a price for everything." now that is exactly the attitude that has gotten the republicans into trouble with the american people. our way or the highway.
senator dick durbin was quick to shoot down the speaker's threat. >> we're not going to find ourselves with some big party celebrating in february and turn around in march and have another doomsday scenario. we have to get this done as a package. >> interpretation, we might like the deal? republicans need to start coming around to reality. the bush tax cuts for the wealthy, going to be gone. entitlement reform can wait. it's not that the democrats don't want to talk about it, but it isn't going to happen now. maybe next year. right now, the goal is tax cuts for the middle class. if there was any kind of mistake in part of the democrats not being on the same page, they fixed that today. the bill to pass the tax cuts is already on the table and being presented. the president is basically daring the republicans to reject it. i think he's giving the republicans political cover. they are going to be able to go home and say, i voted for the
tax cut. don't blame me. but they want to protect the wealthy and that's the key. get your cell phones out. tonight's question, will republicans say no to tax cuts just to spite president obama? text a for yes, b for no to 622639. we'll bring you the results later on in the show. joining me tonight is chris van hollen of maryland who sits on that budget committee. good to have you with us. >> always good to be with you. >> the interpretation here with all of the news packaging put together is the democrats want a tax deal now and you'd be happy with that. do the other stuff later. where are we? >> that's right. the president was chrrystal cle in this campaign. and he said to the republicans in congress, look, pass the middle class tax cuts right now. don't hold the middle class hostage to try to get another
round of extra tax breaks for higher-income individuals. everyone needs to recognize that the president has proposed that everybody in the country gets continued tax relief on the first $250,000 of income they earn. what the president has said is let's do that right now. what republicans are saying is uh-uh. nobody gets tax relief on the first $250,000 until folks with income higher get a e bonus tax break on the amount they earn above $250,000. that's the republican position. >> all right. can a deal be done without affecting the social program benefits for millions of americans? you know where the republicans are going to be. they want the entitlements on the table and they want them there now. >> what we have always said with respect to medicare is the best approach is to reduce the overall costs of health care in that system, which is why the affordable care act ended up
changing the way we reimbursed hospitals. so we don't pay on the volume of care. e we pay them more on the value of care they provide. that's the best way to deal with health care. that's not just a problem in medicare. we have rising health care costs in the rest of the system. the affordable care act will begin to bring those down. that's the way to deal with these rising costs. the republican answer is not to reduce the cost, but simply to transfer rising health care costs on to the backs of seniors. that's what their voucher plan would do. that's what their other proposals would do. instead of containing costs, they transfer rising health care costs on to seniors whose median income is under $250,000. they are saying let's put the burden on seniors on medicare with median incomes of $22,000 and under. >> so what happens to the au automatic cuts to medicare if we
go over the cliff? don't get a deal done, january 1st, now where are we? >> under the sequester provision, there are some across-the-board cuts to some of the medicare providers. >> what about benefits? >> no, it does not touch medicare beneficiaries. >> so you could go over the cliff and still be in good shape as far as campaign promises? >> we want to avoid going over the cliff because you have the across-the-board cuts in other areas. so the president is right. we want to replace the sequester with a sensible, long-term approach. but if republicans continue to refuse to provide tax relief to 98% of the people, in fact, to 100% based on the first $250,000, if they insist on driving us over the cliff, the american people are going to be left scratching their heads. just think about this. january 1, january 2, january 3, the president goes around the
country or on national television explaining that the reason people's tax cuts are at risk are because republicans are holding out for this extra bonus tax break for folks at the top. that's not sustainable. >> the risk is you would run into another recession of if all the tax cuts were to expire and nothing is done about it. that's the fear. congressman chris van hollen, great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. now let's turn to jan schakowsky of illinois. always a pleasure to have you with us. >> thank you, ed. >> is the caucus satisfied with the way the debt deal is being pushed by democrats in the white house now? >> here's what we think. the framing is not about the base of the republican party or the base of the democratic party. it's really about the 99% versus the 1%. it's not a matter of widely spreading the debt fix. it's about fairly spreading the debt fix and for the republicans, even to hold out for a minute on continuing tax
breaks for the wealthiest americans is absolutely outrageous and, in fact, the entitlement cuts, are they saying that the united states of america is poorer today than 50 years ago? we're not. >> that's a key point. how nervous are progressives in congress, in the house es herbal pi will, that the big three will be on the table. social security is off the table. they made that clear. but if the republicans were to show up with a lot of revenue, do you think you'd be able to still keep it off the table, medicare, in this session? >> the democrats will risk not only the base of their party, but the majority of our party, the majority of americans. the majority of americans are very clear about social security and medicare. this very idea of raising the age, you know, the people
proposing it, the ceos, do you know each one of them has an average of $9 million in their retirement fund? >> they are totally disconnected with the american workers and the middle class of this country. >> and the congress is in danger of being out of touch with the american people if we cut or raise the age or cut benefits for the entitlement programs. >> so the final point here, are you confident that the white house will hold the line? that they will be able to get what they want and not allow medicare, medicaid to be chipped away at? >> the way they want to is bad. but i agree with chris van hollen. we can cut some costs from the medicare program. and make it work better. but not cut the benefits. particularly since employers have ended gauaranteed health care for their employees and certainly for their retirees. we cannot afford to do that.
we can't afford to do that. >> jan schakowsky. thank you for joining us tonight. remember to answer tonight's question. share your thoughts on twitter "the ed sho twitter @edshow and on facebook. as long as he keeps looking out for the middle class, teamsters president james hoffa next. stay with us. almost every weekend. derrell hasn't been able to visit his mom back east in a long time. [ shirley ] things are sometimes a little tight around the house. i wasn't able to go to the wedding. [ emily jo ] since derrell couldn't get home, we decided to bring home to him and then just gave him a little bit of help finding his way. ♪ [ laughs ] [ applause ] i love you. i love you, too.
coming up, labor leaders meet to discuss the fiscal cliff. then senators john mccain and lindsey graham say they have even more questions after u.n. ambassador susan rice tries to clear the air on benghazi. and black friday shoppers bust another republican myth about this obama economy. david johnson will set the record straight. share your thoughts on facebook and twitter. we're right back.
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welcome back to "the ed show." president obama can and should rely on labor to bolster his position in the fiscal cliff negotiations. labor is a major ally in protecting the middle class. today senior white house officials met privately with representatives of labor and other progressive groups. and attendees of the meeting say they were encouraged. one said, they expect taxes to go up on the wealthy and to protect medicare and medicaid benefits. they feel confident they don't have to compromise. another attendee said the white house did not want to go over the fiscal cliff but would do so if necessary. would they do it?
if it's between that and compromise on their core principles, i was left with the impression they would. white house officials also reportedly said they will insist republicans deal with the debt ceiling now as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations and not later. also today, aflcio local leaders from 33 states are putting pressure on congressional lawmakers to let the bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy and keep social security off the table. let's turn to james hoffa, general president of international brotherhood of teamste teamsters. always a pleasure. good to have you with us. sometimes when you get politicians and supporters and voters, it's like hurting cats, so to speak. everybody goes in their own direction and they all want their own thing. how do you feel right now about the unity of where this is going for the democrats? what's your understanding of how the white house meeting went today? >> right now, people are saying
we have to stand tall. we had an election. these were the issues in the election. what organized labor is doing is urging this administration to stand tall. that was the message that was delivered today. we won and these were the issues. they wanted to send you a voucher for your medicare. they want to reform basically everything and take it away. we won the election. now we have to stand tall to make sure we protect the safety net of medicare and medicaid. we should stand tall. there's no sense kicking the can down the line. what they are doing is trying to hold the 98% hostage r for the 2% who aren't paying their fair share. every american realizes the rich should pay more money. that's the message we have to deliver. if they are playing that game, it's a losing hand and we're on the right side of this. i think we should say this is
what it is. let's have reform. let's make sure we keep tax cuts for 98% of the people. but the 2% have to pay their fair share. >> but mr. hoffa, if we go off the fiscal cliff, you're prepared to do that. that would hurt a lot of your members. are your members, do you think middle class americans are prepared to go down that road and bare the brunt of a tax increase just because republicans are stubborn? >> no one want s s to see that happen, but guess what? this is something that's not going away. they have done this for the last two years. they held hostage every issue from fixing the roads, the reauthorization, unemployment benefits, we can't keep letting them hold us hostage every time we want to do something that's good for the country. it would be very damaging, but i don't think it would last long because the pressure would be so strong they'll have to do the right thing.
they are not going to sacrifice their future for the 2% and basically hurt the 98% of the people that would keep the basic changes that they have. >> so you're saying political russian roulette, bring it on. you think the democrats are in a solid position now and that will hold with the american people. that's interesting. i also want to bring up this. here's what the ceo of goldman sachs said about entitlements. >> you're going to have to undoubtedly do something to lower people's expectations. the entitlements and what people think they are going to get because they are not going to get it. social security wasn't devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career. so there will be certain things that the retirement age has to be changed. maybe some of the inflation adjustments have to be revised. but entitlements have to be slowed down and contained. >> the average worker gets 16 years of social security
benefits. what's your response to that mentality and that misinformation he's throwing out? >> it's so outrageous. here's a guy that's a billionai billionaire. he's telling people that go out and work every day, work 40, 50 years and try to get benefits for a short period of time that they shouldn't get it? it's so wrong and so wrong headed. it's funny that the rich people really resent basically the average american after the guy that works every day. they resent him getting everything from the government. they are getting all the benefits that the government gets. they are the ones that are billionaires. but they resent the average worker, even getting social security. it's an odd mentality. it shows you how selfish they are. >> if that comment by that ceo doesn't unify democrats, i don't e know what will. good to have you with us. john mccain continues his attack on susan rice. where's this all going? joan walsh weighs in. then the fight over the
very sore looking kinda blistery. it was like a red rash... like somebody had set a bag of hot charcoal on my neck. i was a firefighter for 24 years. but, i have never encountered such a burning sensation until i had the shingles. i remember it well. i was in the back yard doing yard work. i had this irritation going on in my lower neck. i changed shirts because i thought there was something in the collar of the shirt irritating my neck. and i couldn't figure out what was going on. i had no idea it came from chickenpox. i always thought shingles was associated with people... a lot older than myself. i can tell you from experience,
who is thought to be the president's top choice to replace hillary clinton as secretary of state. rice volunteered to meet with critics and they still aren't satisfied. >> we are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before. >> there's no protest, but rice based her statement on the intelligence provided to her by the cia. rice was accompanied by mike morale, but that didn't stop mccain and others from publicly lashing out against the ambassador and now graham and aye yacht say they would block her nomination. lieberman also met with with rice today. lieberman is leaving the senate at the end of the year. the president indicated he's
willing to fight for rice. one democratic senate aid tells nbc news, people are happy to fight for her. she's obviously qualified. no one on our side thinks there's credibility to the republican criticisms. i'm joined by joan walsh, author of the book "what's the matter with white people?" it it seems like she's walked into a political trap. they made it a political trap after she was the one that wanted to set up and explain things. what do you make of it? >> she does them the courtesy of going to see them. nothing compelled her to do that. she thought she would show them respect and she gets disrespected. the only thing -- what it it sounded like from mccain, the only thing that would have made them happy is if she had come out that day and divulged classified information.
they are more interested in geting to the bottom of what she said than to actually what happened in benghazi. >> why aren't they calling for more hearings? if john mccain meets with her and they say this there are many answers, just not one report, but many answers nap has my curiosity up. what does mccain want? >> i think he wants to publicly humiliate her and barack obama. if you have a problem with what the story was with about what happened in benghazi and i'm not saying there was a coverup, but it wasn't about politics, it was about not wanting all the information to come out. that was not her decision. if you have a problem with either the policy or the story about the policy, go to david petraeus. those are the people who should be answering questions about why that information. >> it's interesting.
they didn't mention morale. they mentioned susan rice. he's been around the cia. he's now the acting director. all of a sudden, it's the u.n. ambassador's problem that she didn't put together the dossier that was going to be presented. this seems to really have united the democrats. if she is nominated to the secretary of state's position to follow hillary clinton s this a fight worth fighting? >> absolutely. if that's what the president wants, she's qualified. she's very intelligent. she's been a great u.n. ambassad ambassador. there's no reason not to fight for her. the theme of your show, democrats are showing some backbone. this is another thing. his plans cannot be hijacked by the the man he defeated in 2008, john mccain. this is too important. >> to show you how desperate john mccain is, here he is comparing benghazi to the bin laden raid? >> we knew within hours all the
details when we got bin laden in the raid there. every one of them. they are making a movie out of it. here we are ten weeks later and finally our ambassador of the united nations who appeared on every national sunday show e has now said she gave false information concerning how this tragedy happened. >> we should point out the bin laden raid was a planned operation. >> and it was ours. >> how do they compare the two? >> they don't. he's sounding more and more deranged. that's a crazy thing to say. that was our operation. of course, we could answer questions. even then they got some details wrong. but this was an attack on us and it's complicated by some discomfort about knowing all the details about whavs going on there. >> is susan rice in an untenable position? it's unusual for an ambassador to come out and defend
his/herself. when do you start defending yourself? >> e she did defend herself. she made a statement last week and she did go meet with them. i think at this point, she should go about her business and answer questions. but she should let other people speak up for her. >> thank you, joan walsh. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." americans believe congress is broken. the only ones who disagree are mitch mcconnell and republicans in congress. >> harry reid moves towards the nuclear option to stop the obstruction in the senate. steve benan joins me next on the latest on the filibuster showdown. >> the emphasis on benghazi has been publicized. >> first thomas risks rolled fox news.
today fox news responds by trying to smear thomas risks. and the right wing bubble on the economy bursts again e. >> the president's economic policies have failed. the american people know it. >> i have a new term. it's called obama noma. he's such a cancer to the economy. >> to call this an economy is an insult to recoveries. >> the numbers don't lie. we'll lay them out for you, tonight. that was me... the day i learned i had to start insulin for my type 2 diabetes.
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filibustering takes place. come out and talk it over, again and again for a lengthy period of time. the republicans claim that these changes are not fair. blocking legislation for another four years isn't fair to the american people or the process either. it's harry reid's call. joining me is steve benan. great to have you with us. thanks for your time. these rule changes that harry reid and the senate democrats are talking about, how drastic are they and how much of an effect could they have? >> one might think they are outrageous. in reality, the measures that you identified are modest. for many people who are eager to see major changes in the senate because of its dysfunction, this is something of an underwhelming proposal that we see coming from senate democrats. the kind of changes we'd see are
minor. and ultimately the super majorities we have seen become so standard throughout the senate in recent years would remain in place. the changes are actually quite minor. >> do you think it would be enough? i think that harry reid wouldn't be proposing this if he didn't think this was going to remedy the situation. but there's still a way that the republicans could throw up a bunch of filibusters, correct? >> absolutely. the right of the minority to filibuster would be maintained regardless of the forms are adopted or not. harry reid is correct that some changes are necessary, and this would be a step in the right direction. at the same time, i don't think anyone on either side would be able to characterize this fairly as a sweeping overhaul of senate rules. they are just not that sweeping. >> do you think it would work? >> i think it would have some effect. there are all kinds of possibilities in terms of reforms. some have gone to suggest that
the filibuster should be removed all together and it should be a majority rule institution the way it used to be. the kind of changes that democrats have in mind would make a difference. i just don't know how much. we also don't have all the details yet. we don't know to what extent he wants to make changes. it looks like we'd see an incremental step in the right direction. >> it's interesting to view the republicans on this. mitch mcconnell quoted robert bird today saying that bird would have wanted these rule changes. is he correct? >> it's hard to speculate. senator bird is no longer with us and we can only imagine what he'd be saying. when senator bird was elected to the senate in 1959; in that congress there was one filibuster for the entire congress. in the last congress, there was
137. so while robert was an institutionalist and wanted to protect the senate, he couldn't have imagined a situation that we find ourselves in now. which is one where republicans are filibustering every bill of any consequence. neither could the founding fathers. the senate wasn't designed to work this way. >> senator bird would not want these rule changes, would be going against what the democrats want right now. the bottom line here is the danger in changing the fill b filibuster rule. i mean i see both sides of it. let them go ahead and filibuster politically with the american people. the next election psych sl going to come around and the republicans could pay a heavy price in the next election. the question is, is it worth that? can we afford as a country to have that many filibusters again and not move forward, especially on things like the economy.
steve be nen, great to have you with us. he dared to speak the truth on fox news so now fox news is going after him. the thomas ricks saga. beware future guests on fox. stay tuned. you're watch pg "the ed show." that axiron is here. the only underarm treatment for low t. that's right, the one you apply to the underarm. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these signs and symptoms to your doctor if they occur. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. do not use if you have prostate or breast cancer. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms; decreased sperm count; ankle, feet, or body swelling; enlarged or painful breasts; problems breathing while sleeping; and blood clots in the legs. common side effects include skin redness
or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and increase in psa. see your doctor, and for a 30-day free trial, go to axiron.com. we want you to interact. we love hearing from our viewers. many are responding to the news president obama is hitting the road to make the case for preserving middle class tax cuts. irvin predicts, president obama will need to take the republicans over the fiscal cliff before they will compromise. the twitter user whatrugonnado, they hope president obama fights for medicaid as hard as they fight for susan rice. keep sharing your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter
using the #edshow. an apology, but doesn't refute his claim that the network is a wing of the republican party. stay with us. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. buy now. save later.
thomas ricks tells the truth and fox news doesn't like it a bit. yesterday ricks called fox news out for its plit tieization of benghazi. >> i think benghazi was hyped by this network especially. when sgl when you have four people dead including the ambassador, how do you call that hype? >> how many security contractors died in iraq, do you know? >> i don't. >> nobody does because nobody cared. i think that the emphasis on benghazi has been extremely political because fox was priet operating as a wing of the republican party. >> that interview was cut short and following his appearance,
ricks tells politico he saw some surprise faces in the hallway over at fox after that hit. "one staff person said she thought i had been rude. my feeling was that they asked my opinion and i gave it." and it doesn't end there. fox executive vice president michael clement tells the hollywood reporter when mr. ricks ignored the anchor's question and it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself and his book, he apologized in our offices afterward but doesn't have the strength of character to do that publicly? but ricks says, no, that's not what happened. please ask mr. clement what the words of my supposed apology were. i'd be interested to know. frankly i don't remember any such apology. to when clement fired back. "i'm surprised by the general's utter dishonesty.
i'll refresh his mem ri. he said i'm sorry from a nonstop book tour. perhaps now he can get some rest." so here's where we're at. fox is taking issue with the way mr. ricks criticized the network. they don't like to be publically challenged, but nobody at fox is taking issue with the substance of mr. ricks critique. guess they must agree. tonight in our survey, i asked, will republicans say no to tax cuts just to spite president obama? 95% of you say yes, 5% of you say no. coming up, i'll show you why black friday has republicans seeing red. say tuned.
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in the big finish, republicans love to lie and create an alternative reality to try to damage the president. for years republicans have been lying about our economic recovery. but recently they have gone out of control. >> the president's economic poli policies have failed. the american people know it. this election is about jobs. >> he wants to transform exceptional private enterprise america into nee yo socialism europe. >> he's such a cancer to the economy. >> to call this a recovery is an insult to recoveries. >> we have 11.7% unemployment, not 8.1%.
>> the president has not improved the american economy. >> sorry, bill. the cold truth is president obama has improved the economy. america has reelected the president who brought the economy back from collapse. let's take a look at some numbers. because unlike republicans, they don't lie. 247 million shoppers visited stores this black friday weekend. they spent an estimated $59 billion over the four-day period. sales up over 12% from last year. the housing market is looking pretty good these days. average home prices rose for the sixth consecutive month. home prices are up 3% from this time last year. we have seen 32 months of job growth and finally, here's a whopper, consumer confidence index is at a what? four-year high? how could that be? it rose to 73.7, the highest
level since february of 2008. president obama is always the first one to say there's a lot more we can do on the economy if they pass the jobs bill, but republicans have been dead wrong about the economy all along. the lies about the economy didn't pay off. and the american people are leaving the republican party behind. i would say that @ republicans are just in a real bad place when it comes to explaining where the economy is. let's turn to david cay johnson, author of "the fine print." great to have you with us tonight. >> glad to be here. >> how wrong are they? there's been this litany of comments in this narrative out there. then we get numbers like this. what's it mean? >> well, if all those quotes you heard were accurate, obama would have lost and lost almost every state in the union. the economy has been getting better. not as fast as anybody would like it to get better and the republicans could do a lot to remove the uncertainty about
what's going to happen to our taxes by recognizing that the president has a mandate from the voters and he should get what he wants. so all the indicators are things are getting a little better steadily. >> well, consumer confidence at a four-year high. isn't that -- they are going to get more and spend it. >> and there are other numbers that show the same thing. the number of people voluntarily quitting the job because they are confident -- housing prices are coming back us. the misery index, it's trending down. hourly wages and hours worked are trending up. everything is going generally in the direction you want it to go. there's noise in the data, but the trend lines are on the right place. >> david cay, let's talk about
the fiscal clifd negotiation. what if we do not get a deal? what does that do to the economy? all taxes are going to be going up. going to be $4 trillion in the economy. that would fix a lot of stuff. but obviously the concern is we may fall into a deep recession. what's your take on all that? >> people's paychecks will immediately experience -- they will be a little smaller. 2 percentage points more and your tax cut will be higher. but congress can change the tax law. remember, the republicans themselves did this when they raised taxes on teenagers who work six years ago. so the immediate effect is less than the boogeyman effect. the thing to watch for is do the democrats and president obama hold firm or do they betray the people who put them in office? >> would it be a betrayal at this point, do you think? >> if we come up with a gimmick
that really makes the tax burden not fall on the very wealthiest of people. but on upper middle class americans and middle class americans, that would be something of a betrayal, yes. >> what does this do to republican's credibility on the economy? after they have gone through this era of obstruction, they have talked down the economy and then numbers like this come up, you'd think they'd be concerned about that. >> what they are trying to do here, ed, is if they are unable to get their own troops in line to make a deal, if they are going to pledge more allegiance to grover norquist than to